Why does weed give people the munchies?
Even if you don’t smoke pot, you know doing so leaves people with the insatiable need to nosh. There’s even a term for it: the munchies.
But did you ever wonder why?
Well, a team of Yale researchers did, according to a story by Samantha Olson on medicaldaily.com. They decided to study the neurons in users’ brains to figure out which ones bring on that seemingly uncontrollable need to eat after smoking pot.
And I don’t know about you, but I find this pretty interesting. As we know, there are neurons in our brains whose job it is to tell our body to stop eating because we are full. But those same neurons, according to the medicaldaily.com story, do the opposite when someone’s been smoking pot. (BTW, to that associate of mine who might be lamenting he didn’t get to participate in this study, know you didn’t miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime after all. The study did not use human subjects, but rather mice.)
More research is being done to fully understand what happens. Looking at this list of the 25 Greatest Stoner Snacks makes me think researchers might also want to figure out why highly processed packaged stuff is so appealing after smoking weed. Is it something more than convenience?
But all kidding aside, there are serious benefits for this knowledge beyond knowing why pot smokers need chips and dip later. Hospitals and doctors use medicinal marijuana to help cancer patients who’ve lost their appetite due to chemotherapy. Other researchers have found that besides stoking one’s appetite, marijuana’s main ingredient also heightens a person’s olfactory bulb, according to the medicaldaily.com story. Increasing that sense of smell of food gets a person’s appetite going and makes them want to eat. All of which can help cancer patients regain weight and strength just when they need it most.